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Ghostwatch: When Britain Saw Ghosts 
Craig York, BA (Hons) Film, TV & Theatre Production Graduate of The Northern School of Art 2020 


On Halloween night, 1992, the BBC would broadcast one of its most extensively viewed programmes within its history, Ghost Watch. However, this pseudo-documentary would also be one of the most controversial programmes in British television history, as on the night of broadcasting the BBC was inundated with over twenty thousand phone calls from distressed viewers.


Many members of the public were deeply angry at the BBC for displaying such frightening material, despite it being shown past the broadcasting watershed. Others were convinced that what they witnessed on screen was a genuine live broadcast, where the BBC had shown terrifying proof of the supernatural.


Conceived by horror writer Peter Volk originally as a six-part drama series, Ghostwatch (1992, Lesley Manning) has become notorious within horror circles; and is highly regarded as an inspiration for both the found footage sub-genre and reality television. Craig York explores the lasting impact and frightening legacy of the television show in their article ‘Ghostwatch: When Britain saw Ghosts’.



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